Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sam's Family Spa: Our Oasis in the Desert

We arrived at Sam's Family Spa Hot Water Resort in Desert Hot Springs, California on March 1. Our plan was to hang out in the desert for a few weeks before starting our migratory trip back north at the beginning of April. Well, we had a "Homer moment" and discovered that we didn't have reservations in Utah covering the busy spring break weeks. 

But after experiencing the pleasant surroundings of Sam's Family Spa, we were happy to extend our visit a few more weeks. Sam's has been our oasis in the desert providing nice facilities, fun activities and hiking, and the gift of community as we got to know our fellow travelers.

Sam's offers a very reasonable monthly rate and also pro rates the price if you want to extend a few more days. Our full hookup site (including the extra charge for electricity) came out to $20/day. During the wonderful hot days, the tree on our site and the desert winds provided some effective cooling action ... although there were times when the winds did toooo good of a job. We should have guessed that would be the case when we noticed all the windmills surrounding us!

Windmills on the hill at sunset

Fed by natural hot springs, the swimming pool and four hot spas provide "chlorine-free" refreshment. The temperature of the spas range from 96 to 104 degrees, and pool is usually around 90 degrees, making it perfect for an early morning dip.

And why, you ask, would one want to get into the pool early in the morning? For the free and always entertaining water aerobics class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As promised, our instructor Greg, a retired Marine and all-around fun guy, turned us into powerful "Water Fitness Machines". 

On Mondays and Wednesday, I was able to get my "zen" on with the amazing (and also free) yoga class. While I have a long way to go before I can flex like the experts, Elise encouraged each of us to work at our own particular skill level. Meanwhile, Doug preferred to hang out in the comfort of the Wildebeest and make up his own yoga moves.

Sam's Family Spa's amenities include a large laundromat, a community room for weekly dinners and movies, a dog park with real grass, and a general store stocked with basic staples ... including soft-serve ice cream! Their Mexican fiesta included homemade enchiladas and tamales and all the fixings, AND bottomless margaritas for $10 ... can you say "muy delicioso" ??!!

Their beautifully landscaped green space around the pool and spa area provides a welcoming area for gatherings and barbecues, as well as quiet areas to escape the sun and wind while relaxing with a good book. 

Our one suggestion would be that Sam's take some of their community space and install pickleball courts. Some friendly pickleball competition would positively add to the active and healthy atmosphere that is evident at Sams.

Sam's Family Spa is located on the outskirts of Desert Hot Springs, so it is a 20 to 30 minute drive to get to shopping, restaurants and some of the hiking spots in the San Jacinto foothills around Palm Springs.

But at Sam's we could also just leave the car parked and walk across the road or go out the back gate to find an endless supply of trails and views.

And did I mention all the wildflowers??!!

Desert Aster

Desert Tobacco


Ground Cherry

But it is the "Family" in Sam's Family Spa that gave us the best gift during our stay ... the gift of community. Since they welcome all age groups, we enjoyed getting to know many diverse and interesting people when we hung out in the hot tubs every evening. 

Carl, at 82 years young, directed us to all the "must do" hikes in the area. Wendy, a traveling nurse, filled me in on the adventures of working in a different hospital setting every 13 weeks. Devon, a bubbly home-schooled teenager, tried to convince me that the yoga "pretzel" position was something that everyone should be able to do ... I don't think so!

Eggi and Jennifer, single women who are full-time RVers, impressed us with their knowledge and zest for life as they singlehandedly maneuver their big rigs around the country. 

Doug proved to be a patient and knowledgeable teacher as he shared with us some RV maintenance basics like how to flush the water tank. Good note-taking, Eggi!

As always, it is the children that keep us "young at heart". Athena, at 3 years old, stole mine (and everyone else's) heart with her sweet dimpled smile ... moments like this are our oasis in the desert!

Until next time ... share a smile ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

When we leave here next week, we are heading to Las Vegas for Doug's birthday weekend. We would love to hear your recommendations on sights to see, breweries to experience, and other great ways to drop a little cash out of our piggy bank!

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  1. Wow! This campground has it all! How do you find these places? I want to stay there someday. Tell Doug happy birthday from us!

    1. Doug had heard about Sam's from a few other blogs that he follows ... Wheeling It and Technomadia. They have about the same size rigs as us, so when they talk about a nice RV park, Doug will take note. Sam's also had hotel rooms, so car travelers can also take advantage of the wonderful pool and spas. Thanks for the birthday wishes. He was a "tax day" baby, so we usually celebrate by sending Uncle Sam some more money :-)

  2. Doug's yoga moves require dedication, keep working at it.

    1. He is the expert of the "stretch and yawn"! Thanks for following along.

  3. Sounds like a great place, have to put that on our list. We are planning to go to Idaho in June and July after a short stop in Vegas for some poker. Take Care!

  4. It is a drive to get to the activities in the surrounding towns, but we found good hiking opportunities right out our door. Probably won't hit the poker tables when we are in Las Vegas this coming weekend, but I am sure that Doug will "try his luck at the breweries in the area. Going to miss you in Baraboo, but enjoy Idaho and report back!